Let’s Talk Vitamin K and Newborns
Vitamin K is necessary for normal blood clotting in adults and children. But newborns are different. They are not born with sufficient amounts of the vitamin. This alone is enough to make you question the necessity of an injection. If all babies are born with little Vitamin K, it may be because it is what is meant to be. But, understandably, some argue that Vitamin K is needed so it must be administered.
It is quite rare, but in some newborns, a deficiency in Vitamin K can lead to a serious bleeding disorder, typically in the first week of life, called Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn (HDN). HDN is an internal bleeding that occurs in the brain and other organs, leading to serious injury or potentially even death.
Due to this disease, which may affect 0.25% of infants, it has become standard treatment to give a Vitamin K injection as a preventative measure to all infants at birth, even when risk factors are not present. Continue reading